PPC: Best 45 Colt Bullet


Gary H
December 23, 2003, 11:22 AM
My only long barrel six shooter is chambered for 45 Colt. Are there better bullets that get me accurately out to fifty yards? ...assuming that I do my part.

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December 23, 2003, 04:03 PM
As a high-master PPC shooter, I don't think you'll be happy very long with the .45lc, but, for just starting It'll DO !!!!

PPC rules state that for revolvers, the bullets must be "lead", and for the Distinguished matches, 'Factory loaded' .38spl RN or SWC only. (at least at the registered matches, some local matches won't enforce the ammo/gun inspection rule, so you may be able to shoot those too.)

But from a realistic point, the lead bullet is not an issue, as you'll get better economy and accuracy for your intended purposes with a cast or swaged lead bullet.

If your gun will shoot them well, you can't do better than the "Star" 200gr SWC in 0.452". Two of my fellow competitors hold both the male and female national records for semi-auto service gun matches shooting the Stars. The 'male' holder, also built both guns and loaded the ammo. In the .45acp, he uses 3.6gr of Bullseye and 1.270" oal. Understand he has two casting machines, numerous bullet moulds (over 200!), and he still buys the Star bullets!. Get the "match" version with the "white" lube coating (same lube Hornady uses).

I suggest you start with about 4.0gr of either Bullseye, Win231/HP-38, or AA#2, and work up till you get the accuracy/velocity you're looking for. My experience with a .44 says about 5.0gr of either for about 675-700fps.

You'll also ABSOLUTELY need at least 3 speed loaders. Unfortunately, the only one's I'm familiar with for the .45LC are the HKS, so, between the weight/mass of the .45 cylinder, and cartridges, and relatively slowness of the HKS, combined with the longer trigger pull of the N-frame, you'll have to shoot "fast" in the "short-line" stages (7 and 15yds), but, you'll learn a lot quick too !!!

Good luck with that LC. The above mentioned shooter built a .45acp bullbarreled PPC gun and used the above mentioned load and a 185gr Star HP @4.0gr Bullseye for the "short lines" back about '90, and was shooting in the low 1490's with it !!!!
When asked why he abandoned it, he said that he got tired of reloading the moon-clips.......... the reason he tried the gun in the first place. (loading moon clips is even faster than the Comp-III speed loaders like I use for my K-frames.
, removing and loading up the moon clips was a chore (25! needed for a complete "1500", and we sometimes shoot two in a day !!)

BTW; IMO it's the Speed Loader issue that has kept the Ruger's from being more popular than they ever were for PPC conversions.

Good luck in the '04 Season............I also hope you'll make it to the Nationals in Jackson, MS next Sept.

December 23, 2003, 07:27 PM

This is a group of 16 rounds (it's all I had left) at 25 yards, but it does very well at longer ranges also.


Rainier 200 grain plated SWC, but cast bullets from www.powdervalleyinc.com are just as accurate.
7.2 grains Bullseye
Star-Line Brass
Federal 150 primmers

Averages right at 900 fps in my 6" model 25-5, and shoots great in all my other .45 colt revolvers as well.

Good Luck...


December 24, 2003, 05:55 AM
Suggest lead bullets from these:

Cast Performance
Dry Creek
Penn Bullets

Might investigate weights.........."fast/heavy -- slow/light"

December 24, 2003, 09:18 AM
Lyman mould # 454424 is supposed to be one of the best for .45 Colt. It is an Elmer Keith designed SWC bullet. Quantrill

December 24, 2003, 09:45 AM
I suggest you obtain a NRA-PPC "Rule Book", cost is $3.00 through NRA.
And, consult other successful "PPC" shooters, usually found at the range on match day. Most are like me: -A #2 pencil, in the "dot.com" world.

Quantrill; NRA rules prevent the use of plated and/or jacketed or "high-speed" ammo. Often, hard-cast bullets as others recommended are uneccessary and usually much less accurate due to velocity/load levels-(ask me how I know!)--(hint-obturation, and at approx. $35.00/M, the Star's are nearly impossible to beat for price, and ARE impossible to beat for accuracy (also ask me how I know!) if your gun shoots them well (most likely).

HINT #2: Check the manuals for "Cowboy Action Loads" for the .45lc. Except for WC and SWC's for a "clean hole" for scoring purposes on paper targets (PPC), the loading levels and advantages are the same for NRA-PPC.
Most .45 slugs hold accuracy very well at the 50yd line. The main issue of the .45 not "owning" PPC is the barrel torque due to the heavy-fat bullet and associated recoil "pulling" you off the barricade at the 25 and 50yd positions. It's really easy to spot the .45acp shooters in the semi-auto matches (jacketed/plated bullets are "required" in the s/a "Distinguished" matches- GO Figure !!)--------------- They are the ones with the "bandaids" wrapped around their fingers and the back of their hands !!!!

Good LUCK !!!!

Gary H
December 24, 2003, 12:00 PM
I have been shooting a 5"/8 shot N Frame. It has been a matter of dumping two shots and doing without the extra two rounds. My S&W 25 had overly large cylinder chambers and went back to S&W for a new cylinder, but it never got back into service. I was going to order some Star FMJ for my Valtro. Unfortunately, Southern Belle Brass doesn't list the 200 SWC. Where do I find these at the best price?

December 25, 2003, 03:43 PM
I think you misinterperate my post. As a former active competitor of PPC, I am aware of the ammo requirements. I did not suggest plated or high velocity loads. I suggested the Lyman 454424 Keith designed bullet that is a bullet that has performed accurately in a .45 Colt and I still stand by that recomendation. Quantrill

December 30, 2003, 01:59 PM
Quantrill; re: plated or jacketed bullets.

You didn't, but JoeHatley did. I was not addressing anyone in particulars reply. Yes, if cast soft enough the bullet you recommended would do well, particulary if the throat of the gun was too loose to shoot the .452" Star bullet well. But, if it does shoot it well, I won't waste the lead and time on trying to beat the Star bullet at the low price they sell for, and I get my lead by the 5gal bucket full for free.

Gary H
January 1, 2004, 01:43 AM
Star Bullets: Best Source????????

and a Happy & Healthy New Year....

January 2, 2004, 09:02 AM
In Cali, I'm not sure. I get mine either through SouthernBelle brass, or Widener's. Shipping to Cali from either (S.E. US) may be prohibitive.

Zero's are quite similar and shipping is "flat-rate". The difference is in the lube. The lube on the Star "match" is what makes the difference.

If shooting the "NON-match Star's, there is no discernable difference between the Star's and Zero's. Of course, factoring shipping, the Zero's would win out in CALI.

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